Bulls & Bears

Stocks, consumer confidence up following Trump's election

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.

News Signs of Strength in Markets and Economy After Trump's Victory

John Layfield: I say that they're wrong and they're mad about it. I think that's what it is. Look, the media that is out there, I think, has a personal bias against Donald trump. But they certainly are mad about the fact they're wrong. It's like sports reporters. Those guys think that sports exist because of them, not that their job exists because of sports. They have it exactly backwards. Can you imagine when President Reagan was elected you had about an 8 percent bump the month after he got first elected before he got inaugurated? If people would have gone then and said, oh, this is a Jimmy Carter bounce that is exactly what's going on right now. It's absolutely insane. One thing has changed. And that was Donald trump got elected. And you have a business friendly, at least perceived, administration, and that's why the stock market is rallying.

Hadley Heath: Well, this is the most wonderful time of the year for consumption, but when you ask small business owners what their biggest concerns are, they frequently mention government regulation, employee health care and compliance with the tax code. So there's got to be a lot of hope amongst small business owners we're going to see those issues addressed not just by the Trump presidency but by the Republican-controlled Congress working together to solve some of those problems.

Gary B. Smith: Well, I definitely don't think the media's right. Here's the problem, Dagen, they're going to double down. I mean, look, he has been thoughtful in his cabinet picks, whether you agree or not. He's certainly picking bright, successful people. He's tried to reach out to all class. He's certainly employed the class warfare card. He wants to shrink government, which I think every president has done, but at least he's now putting in people that, you know, want to shrink the department of energy, want to shrink the department of education. I mean, my gosh, the guy is charismatic, whether you like his tweets or not he gets it out there and he's trying to be as honest as he can about his opinions. This is a guy that would say he walks on water and the press would say he can't swim. The press only thing they have going for them because they generally don't get paid a lot is my gosh, they have to be right. As pointed out in the past, they got this election wrong but boy they are going to bring Trump down if they possibly can so at the end they can say, look, it's right. I really think it's terrible for the U.S., terrible for the average citizen out there.

Jessica Tarlov: Because they have the extra money barrack Obama got them in their pockets and now they're going to go out and spend it, at least that's the theory I'm going with.

Jonas Max Ferris: Well, did that in a few weeks in '09 after the March '06 bottom, I believe. But that's another story. I will say there's kind of a wash here for everybody that's optimistic now. There's somebody who's now pessimistic. And those people whether it's the media or their readers, are about to make the same mistake that all the anti-Obama people made. A lot of people sat around on cash for eight years now in commodities, in -- waiting for America's decline in thinking Obama is going to destroy the economy and the stock market. They missed out on the greatest bull market in one of the histories of the presidencies. And now the other side is about to make the same mistake and think that the policies of this administration are going to lead to doom and destruction and decline of America and everything. And they're going to sit it out. And possibly miss eight years of maybe not as good a period in the market, because we came up with a very big low and higher valuation, but certainly nothing to be avoided sit on cash and hide until the end. I think to not think your politics are so important let it cloud your opinion on investing or what the economy's going to do. Because ultimately the policies of these administrations aren't as important as you think they are.

Some of President-elect Trump's Cabinet Picks Have Criticized Agencies They May Run

Gary B. Smith: Kudos for them. You know, the left seems to think that these agencies, these Cabinet areas have existed -- they're in the Constitution somehow, like they're there in 1779. The Department of Education has only been around since 1979. Let's use that as an example. Their budget over the last five years has doubled. But you know what; just one statistic in 2015, the percentage of high school seniors that were deemed proficient in history was 12 percent. Now, if that is right there is not an argument for wiping out the Department of Education, I don't know what is. That's a solid F in any other person's score book.

Hadley Heath: That's right. Americans voted for change, and a shakeup change is what they're going to get. It's going to be very healthy to have leaders in these agency who is are critical of every dollar and how it gets spent, critical of every program and how it operates because, again, there's going to be alarmism and there's going to be fear mongering that if these agencies are somehow scaled back that this means the dismantling of the federal government or that certain jobs aren't going to get taken care of. We have state governments to do so many of these things. Gary B. mentioned the Department of Education. Education should be the purview of the state. Send that money back to the classroom, back to the states and see how effective it can be there.

Jonas Max Ferris: The states do such a great job with the public schools compared to like the kids in Hong Kong. Anyway, the problem actually is exactly what I'm saying is that government in America, state, federal, is all run sub-par compared to other major countries. Now, our companies are run better in most cases than almost anywhere in the world. When you're like who runs the best -- generally a U.S. company. As far as who's got the best transportation, who has the best schools, best health care when the government pays dollar per dollar, that's never been America. I don't think we can build half the stuff we built 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. The Golden Gate Bridge, I know they can't do that today. So what I'm trying to say is having these executives in these jobs hopefully doesn't lead to closing them. That's what happens when you have incompetent managers and can't do it, that they can run it and be competitive with world governments who have to operate some of these things whether it's transportation or education. We can start doing better against other countries, not just in corporate profitable stuff but in the government area too.

Jess Tarlov: You're going a little farther, but a lot of them are going to go. I think it's smart to be examining each and every one of them and looking at the outputs that have come from them. Some of them are looking down the line, right? Going to be efficient or right out of the gate, but we need to look at them. That's for sure. I agree with Jonas, the idea of abolishing something kind of seems like a failure and I think it's odd to put people in charge of them who have spoken to that say I want to run this and I don't think it should exist is very odd. I'm concerned about the department of education. Policies and how she feels about public schools in this country, charter schools, I understand, but reform teachers unions and public schools to make sure we can educate our children better so everyone gets a shot at a great education.

John Layfield: Yeah, talk about reform in unions, first, the teachers union hast hurt our education, they want to allow merit pay, won't allow bad teachers to be fired. The department of education has failed period. What we're doing is not working. Talk about waste it comes from all of these administrations, all of these agencies. Look at the EPA used as a political pawn, not to merit whether is a pipeline good or bad, it was used to further a political agenda. That's how most of these agencies are. Again, what we were doing was not working. It's worth taking people who don't like these agencies, I don't like the government either, most Americans don't, and trying to do something with them.

Senate Report: 27 IRS Workers Spent $1.4M on Travel Accommodations in 2015

Hadley Heath: As if the IRS was a particularly popular or likable arm of the federal government anyway. I don't know how you defend something like this. This is the kind of attitude that Americans are sick of. It's as if some of us are more equal than others-"Animal Farm" kind of mentality. Shouldn't be spending taxpayer dollars that way and there's no defense of it.

John Layfield: Why is no one ever prosecuted in this stuff? They say we have so much waste; we're going to get rid of it. Those 27 names, make them famous, put them on websites, and prosecute them for theft. I don't understand why that never happens. If I had $5,000 unpaid to the IRS in 2014, they'd find that. They certainly can't find these guys staying at five-star hotels. Put a bounty, I'm serious, put bounty for people for government waste, put a percentage, I guarantee you'll have more waste cut than had in the last six years.

Gary B. Smith: But they're giving up the per diem is like $7,000 a month for lodging, but here's the thing, I don't even blame the employees. If I had a per diem of $7,000 a month and I worked for the IRS, you bet I'm staying at the Ritz Carlton. When I've been on per diem back in my corporate life, I tried to spend every single dollar I could because I could consider that income. That goes back to our previous segment. Why are some of these agencies still around at the same budget levels? Right here you can cut about 50 percent of the IRS and not see one percentage increase in productivity. But you would see in some of these spending accounts.

Jess Tarlov: I totally agree. I was shocked when I read this and what am I going to say in defense of it, and I can't. This is not good. I think if you go back to Coburn waste book and things like that, there are plenty of places in the federal government we can shave off money without cutting into things like entitlement programs which Americans need and like.

Jonas Max Ferris: I hope you all get audit letters in your Christmas stockings this year. Bah humbug! We're not talking about how much money they brought in on these long trips. What if they brought in $20 million in audits in these long six-month stays in hotels near possibly people they were auditing?

Stock Picks

Gary B. Smith: (DIS)

John Layfield: (BKS)

Jonas Max Ferris: (QSR)